1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1981st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 981st year of the 2nd millennium, the 81st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1980s decade.

Millennium: 2nd millennium
Centuries: 19th century20th century21st century
Decades: 1950s  1960s  1970s  – 1980s –  1990s  2000s  2010s
Years: 1978 1979 198019811982 1983 1984

Events change

Births change

Deaths change

January change

Harold Urey
Beulah Bondi

February change

Bill Haley

March change

Max Delbrück

April change

Omar Bradley
Joe Louis

May change

Bob Marley
Stefan Wyszyński
Soong Ching-ling
Ziaur Rahman
Giuseppe Pella

June change

Terry Fox

July change

William Wyler

August change

Melvyn Douglas
Béla Guttmann
Mohammad-Ali Rajai

September change

Albert Speer
Robert Montgomery
Rómulo Betancourt

October change

Gloria Grahame
Anwar Sadat
Moshe Dayan

November change

William Holden
Natalie Wood

December change

Ferruccio Parri

Movies released change

Hit songs change

  • "The Tide Is High" – Blondie
  • "Celebration" – Kool & The Gang (2)
  • "9 To 5" – Dolly Parton (2)
  • "I Love A Rainy Night" – Eddie Rabbitt (2)
  • "Keep On Loving You" REO Speedwagon (1)
  • "Rapture" – Blondie (2)
  • "Kiss On My List" – Daryl Hall & John Oates (3)
  • "Morning Train (9 To 5)" – Sheena Easton
  • "Bette Davis Eyes" – Kim Carnes
  • "Stars On 45 Medley" – Stars On 45 (1)
  • "The One That You Love" – Air Supply (1)
  • "Jessie's Girl" – Rick Springfield
  • "Endless Love" – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (9)
  • "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" – Christopher Cross (3)
  • "Private Eyes" – Daryl Hall & John Oates
  • "Physical" – Olivia Newton-John

New books change